Durant, Will (William James Durant) (1885-1981), a United States author. The Story of Civilization (11 volumes, 1935-75) is his major work. The last five volumes were written with his wife, Ariel. Like Durant's The Story of Philosophy (1926), the series is written in an informal, colorful style that made it highly popular. Rousseau and Revolution (1967) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1968. Many historians, however, consider his work unscholarly.
Durant was born in North Adams, Massachusetts. In 1913 he married Ida Kaufman (1898-1981), whom he nicknamed “Ariel.” Durant received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University in 1917.
The other “Civilization” volumes are: Our Oriental Heritage (1935); The Life of Greece (1939); Caesar and Christ (1944); The Age of Faith (1950); The Renaissance (1953); The Reformation (1957); The Age of Reason Begins (1961); The Age of Louis XIV (1963); The Age of Voltaire (1965); The Age of Napoleon (1975). The Lessons of History (1968) and A Dual Autobiography (1977) were written by both Durants.